Swedes and their books

Swedes love their books.

Or do they?

Literally only hours apart on social media I read two scenarios about what to do with your books. One friend had pruned her book collection for some much wanted space. But where to take them? Seems no one wanted them. Not even the standard charity shops. I suggested the one where I take mine, but there must be a difference between towns. Mine still accepts books. Or so I fervently hope. I suppose her books will just have to go to heat houses (Sweden doesn’t do landfill).

The other friend is someone who receives 3-5 cubic metres of unwanted books every week. (That’s even more than I get…) I suppose word gets round that he will take books. He has various collections where they can end up, including his hotel, where guests can read and also take a book home. The hotel ‘loses’ ten metres of books every week. Or was that every month?

Remaining books have to be pulped, unfortunately. But at least here we have someone who looks at every book before sending it on to the next place.

This set me thinking. Swedes reputedly love books and reading. But if you can’t give books away? People attend book fairs like there’s no tomorrow, and listen to authors at events everywhere. My favourite magazine organises overnight book cruises, with authors and books and food. They are very popular. But maybe no one buys the books?

Could it be enough to be entertained by the author on stage? You might not need what they actually wrote.

Is my local Salvation Army shop in danger of not being able to shift excess books? Maybe they will decline my bags next time?


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